July 27, 1918
Page 4
Musician-Patriots Who Typify Their Countries in the War

Signal Contribution Which Is Being Made to the Great Cause by Mr. and Mrs. Paderewski, McCormack, Muratore, Harry Lauder, Schumann-Heink, Percy Hemus, Sousa and Others—Inspiring Role Played by These Notables, Who Serve with Their Art

AT every great event in these patriotic days the finest men and women of all the Allies meet to inspire the thousands who come to hear them with the high-souled enthusiasm that will win the war. Statesmen, soldiers, diplomats, civil officials and great figures in every walk of life pour out everything they have in the cause. But to the dignity and glory of the musical world I think it can safely be said that some five or six musicians have given more inspiration to those at home, and more happiness to the men at the front and in camp than any other individuals in the world.
And by this I mean apart from their purely musical influence; in several cases aside from singing or playing a single note. That Poland is an independent nation and that its white eagle leads its army into battle shoulder to shoulder ·with the Allies on the Western front is due to the labors of Paderewski, once only a great pianist, now a great patriot. His fortune shattered, exiled from home, he forgot that he was at the climax of his career, he forgot that his life-work had been interpreting composers in a concert hall and turned to interpreting his people to the world. With Mme. Paderewska he has raised amazing sums of money for his stricken Poland, and from coast to coast he has traveled, proving in impassioned speeches that Poland is, and always has been, heart and soul with France. And on Bastille Day, at Madison Square Garden in New York, when thousands gathered to hear Lord Reading, Charles E. Hughes, Secretary Daniels, Count Cellere, the Italian Ambassador, and many others equally notable pay tribute to France through Ambassador Jusserand, it was Paderewski, inspired and. ardent, who represented Poland as its greatest son and brought the vast audience, cheering, to its feet. The newest and the smallest Ally stood out in that momentous meeting strong and essential to the war. Long after Paderewski’s thunder-chords and charming compositions are forgotten, he will be remembered in his own land and throughout the world as a splendid figure in a great cause.
Although John McCormack has done his bit in a less stirring way, nevertheless both America and Ireland are proud to claim him as a man who·has answered every call of his generous heart. The one concert singer who can practically give an entire season in New York alone and whom the whole country seems never to hear enough, voluntarily gave up his own engagements, and first for the Red Cross, then the Knights of Columbus and finally the Y. M. C. A., toured the entire country and turned in more direct donations than any other single person could hope to do. He has sung at countless benefits besides, sparing his voice not a whit, and the happiest times of all for him must be when he can sing direct to the men in khaki or in blue.
Lucien Muratore typifies the gallant spirit of France at every great gathering and for every national cause, with his inspired singing of the “Marseillaise.” Either in his own uniform as an officer of the French army or in the significant costume of the composer, Rouget de l’Isle, Muratore’s heroic singing of this one song has done more to inspire the ones at home both to “come across” and to “carry on” than any one other appeal. It is really unfortunate that there is no one, either man or woman, who can interpret the “Star-Spangled Banner” in any way to compare with Muratore’s “Marseillaise,” and it is a pity that when a meeting is to be brought to fever heat, that much as we love France, we must actually depend upon a Frenchman singing the French anthem, because so far no American has come forth who can take his place in achieving a patriotic climax with an American song. If there is a worthy Yankee tenor, it is time for him to come forward now.
Although Harry Lauder has never held a place among the so-called “classical musicians,” he stands all over the world as the interpreter of Scotch songs, and the single fact that his name alone can fill the Metropolitan Opera House for a considerable period should give him a niche of his own. Lauder, the man, has been one of the miracles of the war. A few years ago his parsimony, to give it a pretty name, was proverbial. People used to make jokes about his “closeness” as untiringly as they did about Ford cars. And then, suddenly, Lauder’s only son fell at the front, and Lauder overnight became a changed man. In a little while tales of his generosity and kindness began to circulate as quickly as the others did before, and his remarkable income as well as his remarkable talent was placed, to the last penny and the last engagement, at the services of the British Government. Since then he has toured the world and in every country has raised huge sums for the war. He has been in the frontline trenches to entertain the “Tommies “ “Poilus” and “Sammies” who crowd to hear him, and he has written a book called “A Minstrel in France,” in which the new Harry Lauder tells his story.
Army’s “Singing Mother”
Ernestine Schumann-Heink, once an alien, now an honorary colonel in the United States army, has given up every professional engagement for months past to devote her time to war causes and cheering the boys in camp. Back and forth across the country she goes, with her motherly smile and proud three-starred service pin, forgetting all the “highbrow” music she knew and singing, simply and cozily, though the audience be of thousands, the old songs and the new ballads the boys long to hear. Of all the singers, she is the one who has reached the heart of the army and become a second mother to every boy. And not satisfied with what she has done at home, she is planning to go to France and do in the trenches just what she has done here in camp. ‘Schumann-Heink stands as one of the great women of the war.
There are many musicians who have given up their own careers to be song leaders at the various camps, for it is the soldier who goes singing into battle who will win. The ones, like Albert Spalding, who have left the concert platform for the trenches or the air will be considered as soldiers and not as musicians in the war, although we may hope that they will “come through” with the glory of their great experience making them finer artists than ever before.
What Hemus Is Doing
But among the song leaders Percy Hemus, at the Pelham Naval Training Station, has done wonders with his “buddy-boys,” as he calls them. The average American boy is ashamed to sing at all, so when a leader can inspire them to singing both proudly and well, it is a great achievement. Hemus had 1800 of his singing sailors at the great celebration at the Lewisohn Stadium on the Fourth of July and with all the great array of stars everyone was glad to admit that the boys were the real hit of the evening. They stood in endless rows of white, spotlighted against the night, and the hearty, husky young voices went from sentimental songs to a “lick-the-Kaiser” finale with crescendo enthusiasm from the audience. They can cheer themselves straight to victory with singing like that, thanks to Percy Hemus and the other leaders like him.
It is hard to tell which American stands out as our musician in the war, but it would be safe to say that Lieutenant John Philip Sousa comes nearer to it than anyone. Aside from constantly composing new marches to inspire paraders all over the world, besides lending martial atmosphere to the war-films in every theater in the land, he has trained the finest band in the navy at the Great Lakes Training Station. At present he is taking them on tour to raise money for the war, and he has helped at countless benefits this year. Of course, being an active officer in the navy, his time is not his own, and it is remarkable at how many places he can arrange to appear.
These are the big figures who represent music in the war, but all the musicians have given and done their all. It will be a splendid thing to look back to, to think that of all the professions the most unassembled and widespread, has, by each part of it doing its utmost, created a memorable whole.


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